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Hey everyone, the dog days of summer are sure setting in here in NE Ohio… it’s hot and steamy! But, we can’t let the heat get in our way, it’s just a great time to focus on processes and streamlining to improve and make us more effective. A perfect example of this is going to be very evident in John’s Webinar on Thursday… make sure you sign up for it right away! In the mean time, enjoy reading about what’s happening in the world of real estate. Here’s to a good investing week!
July 6, 2010 – This Week’s Topics:
- Numbers Show the Proof of Housing Trouble
- 14 Facts About the Real Estate Nightmare
- Pending Home Sales Plunge 30%
- Record Low Mortgage Rates Don’t Translate to More Buyers
- Best Deals in the Nation Showing up in Ohio
- One City Gets in the Rehabbing Game
- The Joy of a Challenge
Numbers Show the Proof of Housing Trouble
According to a new report out from ZipRealty.com, the proof of our housing troubles is showing up in the numbers. We’re getting beyond anecdotal evidence now. Take, for instance:
- The numbers of homes that closed in May are down from April by more than 5%.
- In May, newly signed contracts dropped more than 10%.
- Internet searches on real estate sites are down 20%, compared to the same time last year.
That’s right, even searching online for houses is down. Zillow.com is not surprised by the overall numbers: “The tax credits saved the housing market. While temporary tax credits succeeded in lifting buyer psychology temporarily, they essentially shifted demand forward without having a lasting impact on prices or purchase behavior. We expect some payback in the form of decreasing sales after the final closing deadline at the end of June.”
14 Facts About the Real Estate Nightmare
Business Insider boiled it down to a “simple” list… why the US real estate market is in such trouble. I don’t think any of the items on the list are a great shock to anyone, but together they spell big trouble. It points to the fact that we shouldn’t expect the housing market to recover anytime soon. That’s bad news for sellers, but good news for buyers.
- Record low new home sales in May (32.7% drop).
- Home prices are falling (median price down 9.6% over 2009).
- Tax credit sales were revised sharply down (previous estimates were too optimistic!).
- May home sales show an irrefutable double dip.
- May housing starts fell 10% over 2009.
- Internet searches on real estate down 20% (see previous story).
- Freddie & Fannie are a fiscal disaster.
- The tax credit that was supposed to stabilize the market has expired.
- Foreclosures are rising – up 18.6% in the first quarter of 2010.
- Second wave of adjustable ARMs reset next year.
- Home lending is getting harder due to tighter standards.
- Mortgage delinquencies at record levels.
- The overall economy reset will sink the housing bubble.
- The oil spill will hurt the housing market.
Pending Home Sales Plunge 30%
I don’t think this surprises anyone who’s been paying attention. Once the homebuyer tax credit expired at the end of April, new contracts on existing homes plunged 30% in May. This represents a decline of nearly 16% from the same time last year. The drop in pending home sales mirrors a 33% drop in the sale of new homes in May. The tax credit was designed to spur home sales and keep prices from falling further – they have remained virtually unchanged for the past 10 months. The National Association of Relators believes home sales would have proceeded even without the tax credit, due to more aggressive negotiations between buyers and sellers. They argue that the true test of whether the housing market can stand on its own without stimulus money will be job creation in the private sector in the second half of the year.
Record Low Mortgage Rates Don’t Translate to More Buyers
Mortgage rates are at their lowest point in more than half a century, a record 4.58% for an average 30-year fixed loan. Yet mortgage brokers and lenders are only seeing a trickle of customers. Why? Well, those who have strong finances and excellent credit ratings have most likely refinanced at some point over the past 18 months already, and doing so again would not be worth the thousands in extra costs. On the other hand, there are those homeowners who have been hit hard by the housing crisis and have little or no home equity and no money for a down payment. They also lack a steady income or solid credit to refinance. Some experts argue that mortgage standards have gotten too strict – the pendulum has swung in the other direction and now it’s squeezing out customers. Now people with decent but not perfect credit can’t qualify. Lenders are demanding stronger credit scores and a significant down payment or home equity. Overall lending is at half the levels of 2009. Of course we can’t ignore the expired home buyer’s tax credit impacting loan levels.
Best Deals in the Nation Showing up in Ohio
Ohio has the distinction of having the largest discount on foreclosed houses in the country, according to a report out last week by RealtyTrac. Ohio foreclosed homes sold for an average of $76,762 during the first quarter of the year, or nearly 40% less than a non-foreclosed home. That is far above the national average of 26.7%. While this shows that Ohio has the best deals, it, along with Illinois and Kentucky, it also showed that the houses tended to be older and more deteriorated than homes in other high-foreclosure states such as California and Nevada. There will be a lot of work to do on those bargains. In total, 29% of all homes sold in Ohio during the first quarter were in some state of the foreclosure process.
One City Gets in the Rehabbing Game
I thought this story was interesting – it’s about a local community here – just north of Akron, OH called Cuyahoga Falls. With the help of federal stimulus money through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, the city bought six abandoned homes to renovate and sell. Cuyahoga Falls received $780,000 in federal grants last year from HUD to offset blight caused by homes abandoned by foreclosure. These six homes sat vacant for up to three years. Some needed only cosmetic work; others went down to the studs. The homes were purchased for between $30,000 and $58,000. They tried to select homes in the worst condition, but with the most potential. Their target buyers are young families. As the homes sell, the proceeds will be put back into the program to purchase and renovate more homes. The city’s Housing Division Manager is administer the program, but a construction manager has been hired to oversee the work due to changes in HUD rules. The houses should sell for about $115,000 each, and prospective buyers will have to submit an eight-page application and be income qualified (max. household earnings of $77,750).
The Joy of a Challenge
Something that we have asked our top coaching students is how did they maintain an attitude of success, especially when starting out? The consensus was that successful investors enjoy facing challenges. Our Masters Elite program is filled with people who need a vertical learning curve to get them out of bed in the morning -and they need the monetary payoff. The status quo bores them. Once they figure something out, they move on to pursue other challenges. You need to know yourself and what motivates you. What inspires you? What drives you?
Our top coaching students know the following: 1) they like to be inspired; 2) they enjoy overcoming challenges; and 3) they like to achieve goals. They find their work fulfilling, not just because of the money they earn, but because of the positive affect their business has on sellers, buyers, agents, and their employees. They also understand how to deal with failure and they value failure as a part of the process. No one is successful all the time. Failure is a natural part of achieving success. Our top performers make an effort to learn from every mistake, and they use this new knowledge to improve their business.
Hope your week is filled with real estate investing success.
Until next time… ~Josh
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